Our PSA: Ticks suck.

A month ago, Melvin woke up one day and could barely get up.  He moaned when he moved.  He tired quickly, sometimes while we were still in the driveway, just starting our walk.  Had old age set in over night?  We’d seen it before — it was some sort of issue from some stupid tick.

Melvin has pretty much had every test and procedure known to dog.  We have had him tested for tick borne disease and the test come back negative (Jake on the other hand came to us with Ehrlichia) .  But both the neurologist and the regular vet feel Melvin’s results are misleading.  While he might not have one of the big four tick borne diseases, he most definitely has one of the many tick borne disease they have not discovered yet.  In fact, the neurologist told me there are hundreds of tick born diseases out there, that affect dogs every day, they just haven’t classified them all yet.

Enter Doxycycline.  We used it last time Melvin had the flare-up and we tried it again this time.  The difference is last time it was about $20 a week and this time it was $180 a week.  Treatment is four weeks, minimum.  But you know what, who cares!  When your dog can’t walk and he moans to move, well I try to think of what I wouldn’t do to help, and  there is really nothing on that list.  I’ll move heaven and earth (or pay a lot of money) to help him.

Melvin finished his first round of Doxy this week.  If the symptoms return (for this round), we should know by the weekend, and he’d have to go back on Doxy for two months this time.  If not, well we will rejoice!  But the fact is, he has some tick issue inside and we need to be realistic that it could pop back up at any time.

So Deer Ticks (see what i did there with Deer/Dear — I’m so clever), I HATE YOU.  I HATE YOU.  I heard you don’t even serve a purpose in the ecosystem of life.  For something so useless, you are terrible. Awful. Hurtful.  And if I see you, well if I see you, you’re dead.  Yeah, you heard me.  I will burn you to the ground.  I will squash you, flush you, twist you in to pieces.  Sincerely, the mother of two dogs that you have infected.

Happy weekend – look out for ticks!

Hey, it’s me, Jake.

I thought I’d give my own update.  I’m doing great, and in case you ladies were wondering, I’m still very sexy. I know I’m a dog but sometimes I see myself in the mirror and I think, MEOW!

I love my life.  I sleep-in like a teenager, She literally has to nudge me to get up.  My butt must still be pretty big cause my back legs really struggle to hold it up, especially first thing in the morning. It’s ok though cause she bought me a car to drive around in!!! What-up ladies?!

When I think of my life, there are two things I see.  Her and him.  First, I love Her.  I mean, I love-love her.  She makes me be calm and gooey inside.  I used to be all scatter-brained and freaky but now, I’m mellllloooowwwww. I love to stare at her.  I turn my head away from her so I can stare her directly in the eye.  And she blows me kisses.  Gahhhhhhh.  I mean I now know what true love is.  Heres a secret… sometimes my butt shoots out the meatballs and I SWEAR on Melvin’s butt that I don’t mean to do it, I mean I’m as shocked as anyone else in the vicinity.  But she just says, ‘it’s ok, I’ll get it’.  Is that what love does, it makes her willing to pick up meatballs IN THE HOUSE?

Then there is him, brother, Melvin, the scent that heals me. Hot damn I love that guy.  Did you know that when he is standing up, I fit perfectly underneath him?  I mean what are the odds, it’s like we are puzzle pieces.  I don’t know if two pieces makes a puzzle, but our two pieces make a whole lotta awesome!  If I’m being honest, Melvin is much nicer than I am.  I still have split personality syndrome and sometimes Absolutely Not (that is my alters name, at least that is what She calls out when he rears his evil head) will try to bite Melvin’s face and I try to fight forward but Absolutely Not must really like how Melvin’s face tastes.  Apparently Absolutely Not doesn’t have a functioning nose cause the prize is at the other end of Melvin’s body. What a dummy.

I wish I could make Melvin Booty Candles, we would make a fortune!  She always says that we should get jobs, so maybe one day that can happen!

Well, I gotta run.  I will leave you with the highlight of my awesome life thus far – it just happened this past week.  Even though She wrote that Melvin doesn’t like to snuggle me, SNUGGLING OCCURRED PEOPLE!  I don’t know how, I don’t know why and I don’t care!  He loves me, I just knew it!!!

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A brotherhood update.

The boys are doing great! Sure, every sibling relationship has it’s issues (in our house we call that pulling a Jake). When someone new comes over or a dog passes in front of our house (the nerve of that dog) Jake will try to bite Melvin’s face (I am still not sure what his MO is…’hey someone new is here, I should bite my brother’s face to alert him’ or ‘hey a dog just came to close to our house, let me bite my brother’s head in retaliation’).  Thankfully, Melvin continues to channel his inner Nelson Mandela and walks away each and every time.

The other 99% of the time, they are living in sweet harmony.  Jake spends a great deal of time smelling Melvin. Melvin must smell brand spanking new every day because Jake never misses a chance to take it all in. Sometimes they kiss each other, back and forth.  I’ve noticed also that they have started laying closer and closer to the other however the moment Jake touches Melvin, Melvin will get up and move.  If you are human, Melvin will melt into you. If you are Jake, Melvin is not super touchy/feely.  This can also be seen when Jake is in Melvin’s bed and Melvin wants in said bed.  Jake will move over to make room for his brother (it’s really sweet to see but then I know that heartbreak is upon us).  Melvin is not keen on the idea of bed sharing with his brother so he will, ever-so-gently, nudge Jake with his nose to ‘encourage’ his departure from the bed. Despite the rejection, Jake still tries every time.

They seem to know when the other one is having a tough day.  If Jake is down for the count due to his legs, Melvin will go to Jake and lay down, often kissing him first.  When Melvin was having issues with his joints due to his tick born disease, Jake would not only smell Melvin’s whole body, but he’d deliver kisses along the way.

I couldn’t have asked for more.  I love that they love.

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Siriusly Addicted.

Three years ago, Melvin had one collar.  Our life was happy, but there was also a sadness (in the general area of accessorizing). I knew we had to make a change.  I mean one collar?  That is borderline abusive.

Today, Melvin has a collar collection that is museum worthy.  When Jake came, I obviously needed to catch him up on his own collection.  I mean, it would be hurtful not to.  Funny story there, I bought Jake a bunch of collars and then his neck went through a growth spurt, so now I am slowly replacing each collar that is too tight for his giant waddle.

Let me first explain that when I say collars, I mean Sirius Republic collars.  We have a monogamous relationship with SR.  We are not swingers.

So here’s the thing.  I’m addicted – but don’t send help.  If you want to send something, send ideas for the next Sirius Republic collar they most definitely don’t need will be getting!  We have thirty collars so far (this does not include bow ties, or leashes or snoods).  When I was taking the photos, I realized a couple of collars were in the wash (and two are in use).  I could have gotten them but I think these photos do the addiction plenty of justice.  On this one thing in life, we never ‘just say no’. (We have that same philosophy about wine).

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How to mend a day.

I had a crappy day last week.  Everything that could go wrong at work, did.  And then some.  I came home feeling defeated and worrying how I could fix it all the next day.

The dog walker leaves notes every day, about how the boys did and whether they ‘went’. On that crappy day, I came home to this… and all was beautiful again.

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In case you can’t read the latest entry: Cooler today!  Melvin happy!  Your boys are so well-behaved! It’s truly a joy to see them every day!  You should feel proud – you’ve done a good job! 🙂

This (my real job) work matters most!  Yay us!

We need more beds.

When it comes to the boys, I have two rather intense addictions.  Dog beds and Sirius Republic collars.  The collar one is the one I get the most joy out of severest of them so I’ll touch on that in a different post.

If you walk around my house, there are a bunch of places for the boys to land, to take a load off, to burrow into.  Jake has a bed in the mudroom (where he is when I’m not home), Melvin and Jake both have beds in the living room.  There are beds on the patio, by the front door, in the tee pee, in the bedroom (I mean doy, you must have beds there) and there is a pile of beds in the guest room for rotation purposes.  There may or may not be a few beds in the basement, for just in case. We have also donated many beds.  Many, many, beds.

I wish I could say I don’t know what it is, but I do know what it is.  I see a new bed and it seems way cooler than the beds we have and then wham, it shows up on our doorstep. It might be magic.

DISCLOSURE: To be fair (to myself and your judgement of me), the boys beds always serve two purposes: comfort for them and decoration for the house.

There are a lot of reasons I will never be able to retire, this is just one of them. So I give you my new favorite bed purchase.  They need no other words because they scream AWESOME in so many ways.

You can find them here from Furlap (and if you buy any, mention you saw this post!).  Update:  Furlap is offering $5 off your purchase, just enter OHMELVIN as the coupon code when you order between now and July 1st (and to the reader who already ordered, you will be refunded $5!)!!! Yay!!!

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To all the moms!

There are all kinds of moms out there: moms who have lost children, moms whose children are on their way.  There are moms to one, two, even twenty children.  There are step-moms, co-moms and foster-moms. There are moms with no children who still nurture others wholeheartedly. There are male moms. There are dog moms, cat moms, horse moms and guinea pig moms.  Some mom roles are harder than others.  But at the end of the day,  no matter how messy or glorious it was, all that matters is loving well.  Loving your children, loving yourself, loving your own unique life.

I believe that moms are the glue.

Happy Mother’s Day to you!  To lovely, magnificent, oh-so-incredible you!

Melvin would like to thank the academy.

A few months back, I got a request from our buddy Anthony over at Istrico Productions. (Stop what you are doing now and go over and like their page cause they are beyond like- worthy and crazy talented!)  So anywho… Anthony wanted to know if Melvin would be free to cameo in a Public Service Announcement (commercial) for the government (Selective Services).  This is what I heard:  “Can Melvin be the STAR of a commercial that has nothing to do with dogs and subsequently win an Academy Award?”.  Hell to the yes!  I was meant to be a stage mom, all of our dreams were coming true at once!

So we went to the shoot and we got crazy enjoyment worked really hard.  Anthony was there, as was his oh-so-incredible team including Nora and J$ (aka: J-money, aka: Jared). Jake even came along.  Jake’s primary responsibility was to love on Nora, real hard.  He took his job very seriously.

Melvin did great!!!  I mean I know the spot has a main message that is serious and very important… but when I watch it, all I get is ‘whoa, what an adorable dog, where can I get me one of those!?’!  Also, I appreciate that the government is an equal-opportunity-employer who openly accepted my tail-less wonder!

Thank you to all things Istrico, including but not limited to Anthony, Nora, J$ and one awesome mother-in-law!  Also our thanks go to the actor (he was so wonderful!!!) and the fabulous director!

Without further delay, I give you Melvin’s motion picture PSA debut!

 

 

Running man.

Even though Jake now polices the hood in his buggy, the boy still gets his run on. In grass is where most of the magic happens. You see, in the grass, he can run while knuckling, no harm done!.  In grass, he can drag his legs behind him when he gets tired, no bloody stumps, just some grass stains. When Jake is on asphalt or concrete or brick (the patio) he’s wobbly and you can tell that each step hurts.  But in the grass, in the grass he is free!  It’s like his version of Cocoon.

So I give you in video, Jake running.  Sure, as the day wears on, the less he can do.  Some days, his legs don’t work much at all.  But if he is having uptime, I get him outside to run, run, run!

Also, if Melvin’s dopey run with floppy ears does not make you laugh, you may want to check your pulse! — and you can tell by this video that Melvin is on the mend!  The Doxy is killing all that nasty tick venom and my boy is BACK!!!! Wohooooooo!

 

The princess and the pea.

Jake’s hind leg issues follow him into the night.  Sometimes, he wakes up and he’s… pottied.  This is less about his broken pooper (it is what it is) and more about the solution which was for me to nurture my obsession with buying dog beds to buy a few extra beds so that if one had to go into the laundry in the middle of the night, another one was ready to go for his condo.

I would say he wakes me up three times a week to perform middle of the night housekeeping.  Once alerted, I let him out of the condo, collect the dirty bedding, put it in the washer, get the bleach wipes, clean the condo and then put fresh bedding in.  Then I return Jake (who has usually already fallen back to sleep next to me) back inside. I’ve got it down to about five minutes. Not too shabby.

The clean beds are currently just stacked in the spare bedroom.  This seems to confuse Jake who will go into the spare room, stare at the beds, then go into our bedroom and over to his condo and look inside.  When he see’s there is a bed in the condo also, he will go back to the pile of beds.  This is apparently very exhausting for him, so he will climb the pile of beds and take a nap.

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I am certain Jake didn’t have comfortable beds in his former life.  In fact, the rescue group sent his lifelong bed with Jake.  There was nothing comfortable about this bed, I didn’t even want to take it but I did just in case he needed something familiar during his first days with us.  So now, I love seeing him on his pile of beds — in fact it often makes me sing…”movin on up, to the top…’!

Stay tuned for the newest of the beds.  I’ll post about them later this week!

Oh Melvin.

The first few months with Melvin, no words were said more than….

Oh Melvin.

They were (unfortunately) often said with a negative tone, with disappointment, sometimes followed by an exclamation point. There were plenty of times they were sad with laughter, probably suggesting that madness had finally set in. Always following him doing something he most certainly should not have done. Oh Melvin.  Oh Melvin.  Oh Melvin! I had to break the cycle.  His name being said should be positive, joyful, loving.  Especially since Melvin was the name that I gave him, he shouldn’t learn his name while being corrected.

One night when I was laying with him, the following song came out (you will note that I didn’t go into lyric writing as a profession for a reason) and I now sing it to him regularly. It was the moment ‘Oh Melvin’ changed course to be positive, optimistic and eventually, the name of the blog.

Oh Melvin, into my life you came.Oh Melvin, no day is ever the same.  Oh Melvin, Max is our angel up above.  Oh Melvin, to you I give my love.

I sing this to him (my singing voice happens to be better than my mad lyric skillz) almost nightly.  And I celebrate who he was back then as much as I’m thankful for who he is now.  There couldn’t be one without the other.

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Jake and I both have shoe closets.

We get a lot of emails from our readers of ideas for footwear for Jake.  Can I just say that we have the best readers!  It means so much that you would take time out of your day to think about solutions for Jake’s wonky leg issues. LOVE.

We’ve pretty much tried everything.  I even ordered some boots from China.  Of course they didn’t fit and sending them back would cost more than the boots themselves.

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Either he couldn’t walk in them (the heavier shoes/boots) because he just doesn’t have the hind leg strength or they were impossible to get on (the red Pawz) or too big (the blue Pawz) or they ripped right away (the disposable booties) or they wore down too soon due to his dragging (the hand-made booties — hand-made by his awesome dog walker!). Then there were the socks, which are adorable but useless.  Humans don’t go for walks in socks, it was impractical to think dogs could.

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So now, Jake has a closet full of shoes he never wears.  It’s almost like he’s a woman.

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